PGMA graces 18th Vice Mayor's League confab in Cagayan de Oro City
by Brent M. Bravo
Cagayan de Oro City (27 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo graced the opening of the 18th Vice Mayor's League of the Philippines (VMLP) Convention at the Pryce Plaza Hotel Grand Ballroom in Cagayan de Oro City yesterday, citing their vital role in stimulating economic activities in the countryside.
The President was accompanied by Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Gabriel Claudio, Cagayan de Oro 1st District Representative Rolando Uy, Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez, Misamis Oriental 2nd District Representative Yevgeni Emano, Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar Moreno and was met by VMLP National President Michael Rama of Cebu City and Host Vice Mayor and Convention Director Sergio Yap II of Tagoloan town, Misamis Oriental.
In her speech, President Arroyo stressed that the vice mayors are crucial partners and are an important player in the country's fight against poverty, especially now that the nation is warding off the fallout of the global economic crisis.
"We have acted to protect the poor as well as our nation, but while our efforts have been reasonably successful, no country can be totally insulated from the pain and hardship being felt throughout the world. That's why we must all be vigilant in our efforts to respond quickly to changing circumstances," she added.
But with the support of the dedicated public servants in the local government, she said, "we took the economic reform medicine, we improved our banking system, you helped us crack down smugglers, you helped streamline our revenue system that has allowed us to have the resources to make significant investment in our country for the first time in a generation."
The President also pointed out that new investment in health care, education and social services programs successfully bore fruit because the local government officials supported them.
"You have helped build our economy's reputation as an island of stability in an otherwise global sea of economic travels. You, our local government officials, played a crucial part in the country's impressive growth and I thank you for that," she stressed.
President Arroyo addressed the delegates to continue to allocate their increased revenues and to invest in the future of their local government units.
"If you invest in your city or municipality's future, the sum total of that will be the nation's future. So let's all work together to ensure that our nation's resources are able to meet the objective of improving the lives of your constituencies and therefore the entire Philippines," she said.
Founded in 1988, the VLMP is an organization of all vice mayors of all cities and municipalities of the country totaling 1,631 member-local government units (LGUs).
After the event, the President proceeded to SM City Mall to oversee Technical Education and Skills Development Authority's (TESDA) Jobs Bridging and Skills Retraining event where she will also distribute checks as livelihood assistance to displaced Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) under the Tulong Panghanap Buhay sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD). (PIA 10) [top]